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Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
The present study aimed to identify the factors that affect immediate (within 24 h after farrowing onset) postnatal piglet mortality in litters with hyperprolific sows, and investigate their associations with behaviour of postpartum sows in two different farrowing housing systems. A total of 30 sows were housed in: (1) CRATE (n=15): the farrowing crate closed (0.80×2.20 m) within a pen (2.50×1.70 m), and (2) OPEN (n=15): the farrowing crate open (0.80×2.20×1.80 m) within a pen (2.50×2.40 m) with a provision of 20 ls of hay in a rack. A total of 518 live born piglets, produced from the 30 sows, were used for data analyses during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition (T24). Behavioural observations of the sows were assessed via video analyses during T24. Total and crushed piglet mortality rates were higher in OPEN compared with CRATE (P<0.01, for both). During T24, the OPEN sows tended to show higher frequency of postural changes (P=0.07) and duration of standing (P=0.10), and showed higher frequencies of bar-biting (P<0.05) and piglet trapping (P<0.01), when compared with the CRATE sows. During T24, the mortality rates caused by crushing were correlated with the piglet trapping event (r=0.93, P<0.0001), postural changes (r=0.37, P<0.01), duration of standing (r=0.32, P<0.01) and frequency of bar-biting behaviour (r=0.51, P<0.01) of the sows (n=30). In conclusion, immediate postnatal piglet mortality, mainly due to crushing, may be associated with potential increases in frequency of postural changes, duration of standing and incidence of piglet trapping in postpartum sows in the open crate system with large litters.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
This study aims to investigate the climate–malaria associations in nine cities selected from malaria high-risk areas in China. Daily reports of malaria cases in Anhui, Henan, and Yunnan Provinces for 2005–2012 were obtained from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the city-specific climate–malaria associations. Multivariate random-effects meta-regression analyses were used to pool the city-specific effects. An inverted-U-shaped curve relationship was observed between temperatures, average relative humidity, and malaria. A 1 °C increase of maximum temperature (Tmax) resulted in 6·7% (95% CI 4·6–8·8%) to 15·8% (95% CI 14·1–17·4%) increase of malaria, with corresponding lags ranging from 7 to 45 days. For minimum temperature (Tmin), the effect estimates peaked at lag 0 to 40 days, ranging from 5·3% (95% CI 4·4–6·2%) to 17·9% (95% CI 15·6–20·1%). Malaria is more sensitive to Tmin in cool climates and Tmax in warm climates. The duration of lag effect in a cool climate zone is longer than that in a warm climate zone. Lagged effects did not vanish after an epidemic season but waned gradually in the following 2–3 warm seasons. A warming climate may potentially increase the risk of malaria resurgence in China.
Seed shape (SS) affects the yield and appearance of soybean seeds significantly. However, little detailed information has been reported about the quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting SS, especially SS components such as seed length (SL), seed width (SW) and seed thickness (ST), and their mutual ratios of length-to-weight (SLW), length-to-thickness (SLT) and weight-to-thickness (SWT). The aim of the present study was to identify QTL underlying SS components using 129 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between Dongnong46 and L-100. Phenotypic data were collected from this population after it was grown across nine environments. A total of 213 simple sequence repeat markers were used to construct the genetic linkage map, which covered approximately 3623·39 cM, with an average distance of 17·01 cM between markers. Five QTL were identified as being associated with SL, five with SW, three with ST, four with SLW, two with SLT and three with SWT. These QTL could explain 1·46–22·16% of the phenotypic variation in SS component traits. Three QTL were identified in more than six tested environments three for SL, two for SW, one for ST, two for SLW and one for SLT. These QTL have great potential value for marker-assistant selection of SS in soybean seeds.
Omics research has indicated that heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is a potential biomarker of meat quality. However, the specific changes and the potential role of HSP70 in postmortem meat quality development need to be further defined. In this study, Arbor Acres broiler chickens (n=126) were randomly categorized into three treatment groups of unstressed control (C), 0.5-h transport (T) and subsequent water shower spray following transport (T/W). Each treatment consisted of six replicates with seven birds each. The birds were transported according to a designed protocol. The pectoralis major (PM) muscles of the transport-stressed broilers were categorized as normal and pale, soft and exudative (PSE)-like muscle samples according to L* and pH24 h values to test the expression and location of HSP70. Results revealed that the activities of plasma creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase increased significantly (P<0.05) in normal and PSE-like muscle samples after transportation. The mRNA expression of HSP70 in normal muscle samples increased significantly (P<0.05) compared with that in the controls after stress. The protein expression of HSP70 increased significantly in normal muscle samples and decreased significantly (P<0.05) in PSE-like muscles. Immuno-fluorescence showed that HSP70 was present in the cytoplasm and on surface membranes of PM muscle cells in the normal samples following stress. Meanwhile, HSP70 was present on the surface membranes and extracellular matrix but was barely visible in the cytoplasm of the PSE-like samples. Principal component analysis showed high correlations between HSP70 and meat quality and stress indicators. In conclusion, this research suggests that the variation in HSP70 expression may provide a novel insight into the pathways underlying meat quality development.
This study aimed to evaluate subjective symptom changes in obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients following nasal surgery, and to explore treatment efficacy in improving patient quality of life.
Patients with nasal blockage accompanied by habitual snoring were stratified into four groups. Their subjective symptoms were evaluated before and after nasal surgery.
There was a significant decrease in the nasal blockage symptom visual analogue scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Snore Outcomes Survey, Spouse/Bed Partners Survey and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores for all patients at six months after surgery. The visual analogue scale score for subjective olfactory function was significantly improved in the severe obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patient group.
Nasal surgery can effectively improve the subjective symptoms of patients with simple snoring accompanied by nasal blockage and of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome, thus improving their quality of life.
A nationwide population-based cohort was used to examine the severity of liver cirrhosis and risk of mortality from oral cancer.
The cohort consisted of 3583 patients with oral cancer treated by surgery between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. They were grouped on the basis of normal liver function (n = 3471), cirrhosis without decompensation (n = 72) and cirrhosis with decompensation (n = 40). The primary endpoint was mortality. Hazard ratios of death were also determined.
The mortality rates in the respective groups were 14.8 per cent, 20.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent at one year (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios of death at one year for each group compared to the normal group were 2.01 (p = 0.021) for cirrhotic patients without decompensation, 4.84 (p < 0.001) for those with decompensation and 2.65 (p < 0.001) for those receiving chemotherapy.
Liver cirrhosis can be used to predict one-year mortality in oral cancer patients. Chemotherapy should be used with caution and underlying co-morbidities should be managed in cirrhotic patients to reduce mortality risk.
Pathogens utilize type III secretion systems to deliver effector proteins, which facilitate bacterial infections. The Escherichia coli type III secretion system 2 (ETT2) which plays a crucial role in bacterial virulence, is present in the majority of E. coli strains, although ETT2 has undergone widespread mutational attrition. We investigated the distribution and characteristics of ETT2 in avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) isolates and identified five different ETT2 isoforms, including intact ETT2, in 57·6% (141/245) of the isolates. The ETT2 locus was present in the predominant APEC serotypes O78, O2 and O1. All of the ETT2 loci in the serotype O78 isolates were degenerate, whereas an intact ETT2 locus was mostly present in O1 and O2 serotype strains, which belong to phylogenetic groups B2 and D, respectively. Interestingly, a putative second type III secretion-associated locus (eip locus) was present only in the isolates with an intact ETT2. Moreover, ETT2 was more widely distributed in APEC isolates and exhibited more isoforms compared to ETT2 in human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, suggesting that APEC might be a potential risk to human health. However, there was no distinct correlation between ETT2 and other virulence factors in APEC.
Residual feed intake (RFI), defined as the difference between an animal’s actual feed intake and expected feed intake over a specific period, is an inheritable character of feed conversion efficiency in dairy cows. Research has shown that a lower RFI could improve the profitability of milk production. This study explored variation in RFI by comparing the differences in body size, milk performance, feeding behavior, and serum metabolites in 29 Holstein cows in mid lactation. The cows were selected from a total of 84 animals based on their RFI following feedlot tests. Selected cows were ranked into high RFI (RFI >1 SD above the mean, n=14) and low RFI (RFI<1 SD below the mean, n=15). The low RFI cows (more efficient) consumed 1.59 kg/day less dry matter than the high RFI group (P<0.01), while they produced nearly equal 4% fat-corrected milk. The milk : feed ratio was higher for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (P<0.05). The levels of milk protein (P<0.01), total solids (P<0.05), and nonfat solids (P<0.05) were also higher for the low RFI group, whereas milk urea nitrogen was lower (P<0.01). The daily feeding duration was shorter for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group (P<0.01). No significant differences were found in levels of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, prolactin, insulin, IGF-1, growth hormone or ghrelin, but the level of neuropeptide Y was higher (P<0.01) and levels of leptin and non-esterified fatty acid (P<0.05) were lower for the low RFI group than for the high RFI group. There were substantial differences between cows with different RFI, which might affect the efficiency of milk protein metabolism and fat mobilization.
Increased temporal and frontal slow-wave delta (1–4 Hz) and theta (4–7
Hz) activities are the most consistent resting-state neural abnormalities
reported in schizophrenia. The frontal lobe is associated with negative
symptoms and cognitive abilities such as attention, with negative
symptoms and impaired attention associated with poor functional
To establish whether frontal dysfunction, as indexed by slowing, would be
associated with functional impairments.
Eyes-closed magnetoencephalography data were collected in 41 participants
with schizophrenia and 37 healthy controls, and frequency-domain source
imaging localised delta and theta activity.
Elevated delta and theta activity in right frontal and right
temporoparietal regions was observed in the schizophrenia
v. control group. In schizophrenia, right-frontal
delta activity was uniquely associated with negative but not positive
symptoms. In the full sample, increased right-frontal delta activity
predicted poorer attention and functional capacity.
Our findings suggest that treatment-associated decreases in slow-wave
activity could be accompanied by improved functional outcome and thus
To examine associations between food insecurity, excess body weight, psychosocial factors and food behaviours among low-income African-American families.
Cross-sectional survey of participants in the baseline evaluation of the B’More Healthy Communities for Kids (BHCK) obesity prevention trial. We collected data on socio-economic factors, food source destinations, acquiring food, preparation methods, psychosocial factors, beliefs and attitudes, participation in food assistance programmes, anthropometry and food security. We used principal component analysis to identify patterns of food source destinations and logistic regression to examine associations.
Fourteen low-income, predominantly African-American neighbourhoods in Baltimore City, MD, USA.
Two hundred and ninety-eight adult caregiver–child (10–14 years old) dyads.
Of households, 41·6 % had some level of food insecurity and 12·4 % experienced some level of hunger. Food-insecure participants with hunger were significantly more likely to be unemployed and to have lower incomes. We found high rates of excess body weight (overweight and obesity) among adults and children (82·8 % and 37·9 % among food insecure without hunger, 89·2 % and 45·9 % among food insecure with hunger, respectively), although there were no significant differences by food security status. Food source usage patterns, food acquisition, preparation, knowledge, self-efficacy and intentions did not differ by food security. Food security was associated with perceptions that healthy foods are affordable and convenient. Greater caregiver body satisfaction was associated with food insecurity and excess body weight.
In this setting, obesity and food insecurity are major problems. For many food-insecure families, perceptions of healthy foods may serve as additional barriers to their purchase and consumption.
Numerical results are obtained for non-plane MHD responses to a sudden energy release in a stratified model atmosphere. In agreement with observations, it is shown that after the energy release, the magnetic field affected by the energy release relaxes toward the potential configuration while the outer atmospheric fields increase its shear. Additional results suggest a new way of interpreting the energy storage and release in repeated flares.
In current transparent Si based photovoltaic (PV) module fabrication, green or infrared laser is the most common used band frequency to wipe off the silicon and back contact layer in perpendicular direction of cells. However, this method would result in more power loss than calculation value due to the side effects during the process such as constructional damage of module and shunt effect. A new method is presented here which focus on wiping off more silicon layer by employing green pulsed laser(532 nm wavelength) along the parallel direction of Pattern2, and it shows higher efficiency and more attractive appearance.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable psychiatric disorder. Additionally, environmental factors such as perinatal stress and early adversities contribute to the occurrence and severity of ADHD. Recently, DNA methylation has emerged as a mechanism that potentially mediates gene–environmental interaction effects in the aetiology and phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigated whether serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation patterns were associated with clinical characteristics and regional cortical thickness in children with ADHD.
In 102 children with ADHD (age 6–15 years), the methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was measured. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was obtained and ADHD symptoms were evaluated.
A higher methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was significantly associated with worse clinical presentations (more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and more commission errors). Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between SLC6A4 methylation levels and cortical thickness values in the right occipito-temproral regions.
Our results suggest that the SLC6A4 methylation status may be associated with certain symptoms of ADHD, such as behavioural disinhibition, and related brain changes. Future studies that use a larger sample size and a control group are required to corroborate these results.
Thermo-camera is employed here to analyze kinds of quality abnormal and improve production process during manufacture procedure of silicon-based thin-film solar modules. It shows that thermo-camera device can help engineers to solve problem of production line quickly and accurately, and save the manpower and financial resources at the same time.
To explore perceived factors that impede or facilitate healthful eating within the home environment among overweight/obese adolescents.
In the present qualitative photovoice study, participants were instructed to take photographs of things that made it easier or harder to make healthful food choices at home. Digital photographs were reviewed and semi-structured interviews were conducted to promote discussion of the photographs. Data were analysed using constant comparative analysis.
Vancouver, Canada, in 2012–2013.
Twenty-two overweight/obese adolescents who completed a family-based lifestyle modification intervention.
The mean age of participants was 14 (sd 1·9) years, 77 % were female and their mean BMI Z-score was 2·4 (sd 0·6). Adolescents talked about six aspects of the home environment that influenced their eating habits (in order of frequency): home cooking, availability and accessibility of foods/beverages, parenting practices, family modelling, celebrations and screen use/studying. In general, homes with availability of less healthful foods, where family members also liked to eat less healthful foods and where healthier foods were less abundant or inaccessible were described as barriers to healthful eating. Special occasions and time spent studying or in front of the screen were also conducive to less healthful food choices. Home cooked meals supported adolescents in making healthier food choices, while specific parenting strategies such as encouragement and restriction were helpful for some adolescents.
Adolescents struggled to make healthful choices in their home environment, but highlighted parenting strategies that were supportive. Targeting the home food environment is important to enable healthier food choices among overweight/obese adolescents.